Mac Allister Plus Two: Liverpool’s Badly Timed Midfield Crisis

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Midfield Maestros: Navigating Liverpool’s Slump

Well they couldn’t have picked a worst time to all go off it eh. In the dynamic theatre of football, the role of the midfielder is one of the most demanding, with players needing to pivot instantly between defence and attack. A midfielder’s form can often dictate the ebb and flow of a team’s performance.

Yet, aside from Alexis Mac Allister, there appears to be a concern about Liverpool’s midfield as they seem to be collectively hitting a rough patch at a critical juncture in the season. You can’t just play one in a Klopp midfield either, especially one who had to play 90 minutes against Atalanta chasing.

Photo: IMAGO

Under Pressure: Endo’s Pace Dilemma

Despite his pivotal role, Endo has been notably off the pace in recent clashes against Manchester United and Atalanta. His statistics have seen a dip, with fewer successful tackles and interceptions, coupled with a lack of control in tempo-setting – a crucial aspect of Liverpool’s game plan.

The impending match on Sunday sees him likely to start, but the worry lingers – will his current form undermine the team’s cohesion? It always feels he’s there so Mac Allister can go higher and his impact is undoubtable. However so is the dip just now.

Photo: IMAGO

Fitness Hurdle: Curtis Jones’ Conundrum

The young Curtis Jones, once noted by Klopp as the fittest player who could “press for 90 minutes like crazy,” seems to be struggling to find his earlier season form. Klopp’s observation that after 20 minutes, Jones was “100 percent surprised” by the intensity he felt, makes it clear that the midfielder might not be in peak condition since his return.

His substitution at half-time against Atalanta is a tell-tale sign of a player who’s grappling to regain his former verve. When he’s on it, he’s crucial and it felt his return would be key. We need that to come quickly though.

Photo: IMAGO

Faltering Flair: Szoboszlai’s Off Moments

Dominik Szoboszlai, another cog in the midfield engine, has shown a dip in his usually reliable performances. A lapse in judgement that led to a goal against Atalanta has put him under the scanner on the back of plenty of effort but a big miss and bad decision making against United had it ready to go.

His creativity and sharpness, vital in carving open defences, have not been as impactful, raising concerns as the season reaches its zenith. This feels like the opposite Szoboszlai we saw at the start of the season, which is harsh but based on reality.

Photo: IMAGO

Resilience Required: Elliott’s Dual Facets

Harvey Elliott, despite his bright form when coming off the bench, faced a starkly different challenge when starting against Atalanta. There, he was “physically bullied,” according to the commentary from the sidelines. His struggle to impose himself in the starting role begs the question – is his current strength as a super-sub being diluted when in the starting eleven?

It maybe the question of this season and it’s clear he bristled when asked the question in interviews the other day. But it wasn’t a chance taken and his substitution at half-time said a lot.

Photo: IMAGO

In Search of Midfield Stability

Liverpool’s midfield conundrum is accentuated when looking at recent game statistics. The loss of control in the middle park is mirrored by reduced ball recoveries, passing accuracy, and fewer key passes leading to goal-scoring opportunities.

It seems a collective resurgence is required – a rediscovery of the form that can change the tide for the Reds. There’s the argument that if the forwards weren’t as wasteful the narrative would be different, but aside from Mac Allister, none of them have been ‘at it’ in recent games. Whoever gets the nod, it needs to change against place and fast.

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